Hiring managers have plenty of things that they look for during an interview, and some of them are things you can’t plan, rehearse or, sometimes, directly answer a question with. Here are four things that hiring managers secretly want to see from their applicants.
1. Demonstrate that you’re prepared
A ton of research should go into every job interview you do and it needs to shine through with every answer you give. Research the company thoroughly, research the person interviewing you if you can, and do your best to remember all the requirements and tasks for the job you’re interviewing for. Whenever you can bring up something you learned in your research, do so – for instance, when they ask why you’d like to work for the company, you can bring up how their values align with yours or get specific about past work they’ve done you’ve enjoyed.
Another great way to prepare is by planning out the things you’re going to say before you enter the interview. Look up common interview questions and write out and rehearse answers for them. Even if you’re not asked those exact questions when you’re in the interview, at least you’ll have some ideas of what you can say about your skills, past experience and future goals all planned out rather than freestyling entirely.
2. Show that you’re easy to get along with
Aside from answering the questions adequately, employers want to see that you’ll fit in within the current workplace culture. This means you should be injecting as much of your personality as possible into the interview, as well as displaying confidence. Confidence is important because the hiring manager will not only think you’re self-assured regarding your skills and ability to perform the job, but that you won’t shy away from other people when it comes to needing to work within a team.
You should also be connecting with your hiring manager as best as you can, too. A meaningful connection will be memorable beyond the answers that you give. Show that you’re genuinely interested in them as a person, having a good time talking to them on a conversational level and find things that you might have in common throughout the interview.
3. Show that you’re paying attention
While your interviewer is asking you questions, there’s a good chance they’ll also be feeding you information in response, or they may have given you a spiel before the interview began. If this is the case, hold onto those things that they say – anything that they say, really – and don’t let go until you’ve fired off that final follow-up email post-interview.
If they mention something to you that interests you, refer back to it during a later question. When they ask if you have any questions by the end of the interview, ask them to expand about something they brought up earlier, even if you aren’t super interested in that particular thing. A hiring manager will appreciate that you were listening and that you care about what they had to say. Not only that, but listening skills are key at any job – they’ll take note of it!
4. Be excited about the job
Enthusiasm is incredibly important. It’s easy to leave enthusiasm to the wayside because interviews can be so nerve-wracking and you let anxiety guide you. But, try to channel that anxiety into excitement! Express to the hiring manager how excited you are to even have the opportunity to work there, highlight the things you love about the company and their values, and finish up with as many questions as you can about the company to show you’re genuinely excited to learn more about it. For instance, “what does a day in the life look like at this company?”
Show your enthusiasm about the actual position, too. Explain how the field has always been a dream of yours – don’t be afraid to get personal about it!
Excitement can make or break a job interview. If it’s down to you and another candidate, the other candidate could easily walk away with the role solely because they showed more interest in the job and the company.
Remember these four tips in your next interview and you’ll be sure to leave an impact on the hiring manager. Even if you fumble a question, your excitement, confidence and preparation could still carry you to the next round alone. Good luck!
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Emily Morrison is a media professional with passions for writing, film and popular culture.
Feature Image: Adobe Stock